Elisabeth Finch — the former Grey’s Anatomy consulting producer whose myriad lies about her medical and personal history led to her resignation in March– gave her first career rehabilitation interview by saying “what she did was wrong” and how it was “not okay.”
Finch admitted to The Ankler that she never had “any form of cancer,” nor did her older brother Eric commit suicide — another lie she perpetuated while writing for the ABC drama. Her brother is actually alive and working in Florida as a doctor.
“I know it’s absolutely wrong what I did,” she said. “I lied and there’s no excuse for it. But there’s context for it. The best way I can explain it is when you experience a level of trauma a lot of people adopt a maladaptive coping mechanism. Some people drink to hide or forget things. Drug addicts try to alter their reality. Some people cut. I lied. That was my coping and my way to feel safe and seen and heard.”
In March, The Ankler questioned Finch’s medical history and some of her past claims like how she was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer, how she lost a kidney and part of her leg but was then misdiagnosed, and how she had endured verbal and sexual abuse by a male director while writing for The Vampire Diaries. Before Disney could launch an investigation, Finch made the decision to leave the drama and check herself into an Arizona facility.
Since then, Finch told The Ankler that not only has her wife left her but family members have disowned her and she’s no longer allowed to see the children she helped to raise. Her days are apparently filled with unanswered emails and meetings with a therapist.
“I wish I had a grid that would show who’s not talking to me because they can’t [legally],” she said. “Who’s not talking to me because they don’t know what to say. Who’s not talking to me because they’re pissed off. And then who’s sitting there waiting for me to reach out. I have no clue … it’s been a very quiet, very sad time. There were people who, when your article came out, were immediately very, very nasty on text. Family and friends who called me a monster and a fraud and said that’s all I’ll ever be known for and soon more truth would come out.”
Finch claims her lies started during the 2007 Writers Strike, when she hurt her knee while hiking. She ended up getting knee-replacement surgery. “Everyone was so amazing and so wonderful leading up to all the surgeries,” she told The Ankler. “They were so supportive. And then I got my knee replacement. It was one hell of a recovery period and then it was dead quiet because everyone naturally was like Yay! You’re healed. But it was dead quiet. And I had no support and went back to my old maladaptive coping mechanism — I lied and made something up because I needed support and attention and that’s the way I went after it. That’s where that lie started — in that silence.”
Besides writing for Grey’s, Finch was a prolific freelancer who shared her personal medical stories with outlets like Elle, The Hollywood Reporter and the Shondaland website. Her previous credits include Vampire Diaries, No Ordinary Family and True Blood. She joined Grey’s Anatomy in 2015.